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  • The first impression of Africa that travellers develop in their minds is of a hot and humid place that is painted in deserts and wilderness everywhere. On the contrary and much to the surprise of travellers, this picture changes when you set foot in the Republic of South Africa.There are many places to visit in South Africa and it is gifted with all the elements of nature- beautiful landscapes, rock formations, forests, and an endless shoreline of about 3000 kilometres. All that, combined with the cities of the country create a perfect balance of culture, flora, fauna and history. 

    South Africa is bordered by the South Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It is globally known for its wines and is one of the largest producers of gold in the world. It also has a thriving tourism industry given the ease it provides to the visitors in terms of a language with English being used in almost all of the business circuits. 

    This country, which was home to one of the world’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, is a heaven for backpackers. With a good number of tourist places in South Africa, you will never be left idle as you will constantly partake in seeing some of the most breathtaking natural sights and an endless number of enlivening beaches. 

    Apart from all the wildlife that is typical of the African continent, you can also spot some penguins here. There are many places to visit in South Africa that have so much to offer, that you will truly be left mesmerized!

    Here are some of the best places to visit in South Africa:

  • 01Capetown

    Capetown
    Image Credit : nationalgeographic.com
    1. Table Mountain- A flat-topped mountain standing over Cape Town and that is also a part of the national park. It is a good place to spot native flora and fauna. Travellers can take a cable car or hike to the top.

    2. Robben Island- An oval-shaped island approximately 7 km away from the coast of Cape Town. This is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.

    3. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden- One of the 9 national botanical gardens of South Africa, this park at the Eastern foot of the Table Mountain has natural miracles to attract people of all ages.

    4. Victoria & Alfred Waterfront- With mountains in the background, sea in front and situated in a rather entertainment based district, this is the most visited of tourist places in South Africa and Cape Town.

    5. Two Oceans Aquarium- As the name suggests, this aquarium at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town has 7 enchanting exhibition galleries where the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet, exhibiting over 3000 incredible marine creatures.

    6. Bo-Kaap- It means ‘Above the Cape’. This colourful district of Cape Town is not just famous for bright houses and a colourful history, but it is the location of the country’s oldest Mosque.

    7. Lion's Head- Part of the Table Mountain National Park and situated between this and the Signal Hill, the Lion's Head hill is at a height of 669m and is a favourite hiking spot for locals and tourists.

    8. Cape Of Good Hope And Cape Point- Together forming a part of the Cape Peninsula, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point hold historical importance for sailors and are famous tourist places in South Africa.

    9. Castle of Good Hope- The oldest colonial building in South Africa, this castle speaks of South Africa’s colonial past. It was originally built on the shore of Table Bay and was later moved inland.

    10. District Six Museum- This Museum speaks of the times when 60,000 coloured inhabitants of District Six were moved in the Apartheid wave of the 70s to declare it as a “whites only” zone.

    11. Constantia Valley- At just 20 minutes from the city and located in the valley of the Constantia Mountain amidst forests, hills, and estate homes, this is the wine district of Cape Town.

    12. Camps Bay- The most favourite picnic spot in Cape Town under Twelve Apostles mountains in an affluent area. It is famous for its family beaches and bathing areas.

    13. Boulders Beach- Surrounded by granite boulders which gave the beach its name, it’s a safe spot for swimming but is more famous for seeing the famous African Penguins on the sandy beach.

    14. La Parada Constantia Nek- The century-old exterior combined with the modern interior of this newly opened restaurant is the best place to catch some delicious food and breathtaking views of the country.

    15. Asoka Lounge- A multi-faceted joint on Kloof Street, this restaurant is a favourite spot for locals to have get-togethers over some innovative cocktail ideas and soothing live music.

    16. Veuve Clicquot Bar at the Ritz- The bar at the famous hotel The Ritz, which has been embellishing the Cape Town Skyline, it is the best place to have champagne in a chic and sophisticated environment.

    17. Aubergine Restaurant- This iconic eatery of Cape Town set in a building from the 1830s is famous for the amazing food and a homely and artsy feeling that comes along with its decor.

    18. Outrage of Modesty Bar- This place throws normal into the trash and comes up with some of the most innovative cocktails you will ever try! made with ingredients you can’t imagine teaming up with alcohol.
  • 02Johannesburg

    Johannesburg
    Image Credit : worldonafork.com
    19. The Apartheid Museum- Housing some of the most important exhibits relating to the Apartheid and its history in the 20th century South Africa, this museum is a must in places to visit in South Africa.

    20. Constitution Hill- A museum narrating the story of South Africa’s past, this place was a former prison and military fort before being transformed into the Constitutional Court.

    21. Gold Reef City- An amusement park of Johannesburg which follows the theme of Gold Rush, it is surprisingly located in an old, closed gold mine where you can see a real gold vein.

    22. Soweto & the Mandela Museum- Soweto is the most infamous township of Johannesburg, historically, and the location of the home of the most respected personality ever, Nelson Mandela, which is now a museum in his memory.

    23. Johannesburg Zoo- A zoo spread in 55 hectares, it is home to 2000 animals of 320 species. It is the only place that has been successful in breeding Siberian Tigers, the world’s biggest cats!

    24. World of Beer- Apart from being a hotspot for the locals and tourists for catching a good cold brew, it is a good place for learning the history of beer brewing culture here.

    25. The Cradle of Humankind- The location of Sterkfontein caves where the 2.3 million-year-old fossil of ‘Mrs Ples’ was excavated, this place covers an area of whopping 47000 hectares with 12 limestone caves.

    26. Cafe Del Sol- A traditional Italian restaurant run by an Italian family that ensures that you feel the same kind of love that they felt while preparing the delicacies.

    27. DW Eleven – 13- The owner of this unique restaurant is also the judge of South Africa’s famous reality cooking show. The USP of this restaurant is the dynamic menu and multiple layers of taste.

    28. Lion Park- A wildlife conservation park spread over 600 hectares; this place is the home to more than 80 lions including the rare white lion, and others like cheetahs, hyenas etc.
  • 03Durban

    Durban
    Image Credit : destinations.flysaa.com
    29. Ushaka Marine World- Spread in 16 hectares, this water-based theme park of Durban is a must of the places to visit in South Africa. Children love various sections of this place.

    30. Durban Botanic Gardens- Durban’s oldest public place and the oldest surviving African Botanical garden, it is a perfect setting with a subtropical climate and species that make it worth a visit.

    31. Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World- Durban’s largest casino, it is set in a location surrounded by palm trees on the Golden Mile’s waterfront. It has over 1300 slot machines and 50 gaming tables.

    32. North Beach- Durban’s busiest and unarguably the best beach on the Golden Mile, the white sandy stretch never fails to attract locals and tourists towards it.

    33. Mitchell Park Zoo- Started off as an ostrich farm, it is Durban’s only zoo. It started adding more animals and eventually grew to its current size present day.

    34. Port Natal Maritime Museum- Proudly exhibiting the artefacts from the maritime history of the busiest ports of South Africa and is dedicated to just that, the seafaring traditions and history of Durban.

    35. Golden Mile- It is the combined area of the renowned Durban beachfront and the street that runs alongside it. This is where the most famous of attractions of Durban is located.

    36. Umgeni River Bird Park- It is a bird zoo of Durban which started off as a private park for bird watchers. It is based in an abandoned quarry of the city.

    37. Ushaka Marine World- The fifth largest aquarium in the world, the special fact about this place is that it is built around 5 shipwrecks; a must in places to visit in South Africa.

    38. Hare Krishna Temple- Made with some of the best materials from the world, it is a divine and prime location for attaining a spiritual calm in the land of South Africa.

    39. Valley of a Thousand Hills- This valley between Durban and Pietermaritzburg is a picturesque place famous for the scenic beauty, wildlife and being a place for 2 grand rivers that result in the aforementioned beauty.

    40. Umhlanga Rocks- On the beautiful shoreline of Durban and waters of the Indian Ocean is the adorable holiday resort village of Umhlanga Rocks, attracting visitors from around the village for its scenery.

    41. KwaMuhle Museum- This museum exhibits artefacts that force the visitors to look at Apartheid history with an open mind, honouring the ones who fought in making South Africa what it is today.
  • 04Pretoria

    Pretoria
    Image Credit : thepinkbackpack.com
    42. Voortrekker Monument- Inaugurated in the year 1949, this national heritage site was made in the honour of Voortrekkers, who left the Cape Colony in the days between years 1835 and 1854.

    43. Union Buildings- Situated on top of Meintjieskop, this place contains the office of the South African Government and the President. It is a national heritage site famous for a panoramic view of Pretoria.

    44. National Zoological Gardens of South Africa- Also known as Pretoria Zoo, the only one with a national status, it is also the largest zoo of South Africa and one of world’s best zoo with over 3000 animals.

    45. Transvaal Museum- With a large number of exhibits, this museum is renowned for showcasing the history of the evolution of life; it is a must in places to visit in South Africa.

    46. Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary- A Sunday picnic spot for local families, Pretoria’s first bird refuge; it is one of the best places to relax while bird watching. This adventure is only complete with popular nearby cafes and restaurants that offer great food and drinks.

    47. Kruger House Museum- Deemed to be the last house where President Paul Kruger lived and was made with the use of milk in cement instead of water; this house is now a museum.

    48. Capital Craft- An academy and a restaurant, this place in Pretoria offers some of the best quality food with the most renowned craft beers found in South Africa.

    49. Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Centre- Based on the foot of Magaliesberg, this breeding facility for the Cheetahs and other species of the endangered index has raised 500 cubs, that are now part of game reserves.

    50. Union Buildings- Situated on top of Meintjieskop, this place contains the office of the South African Government, the president; it is a national heritage site famous for a panoramic view of Pretoria.

    51. Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve- In the base of Moreleta Kloof lies this nature reserve spread in 100 hectares where you can witness the beauty of nature at its best, free of cost!

    52. Melrose House- It was once the mansion of businessman George Jesse Heys, who earned his fame during the diamond rush. This is now a plush and renowned historic house museum.

    53. Ditsong Museums of South Africa- It is a group of 8 museums in Pretoria and Johannesburg. These specialize in fauna, flora, anthropology, military, cultural history, palaeontology, geology,  and archaeology.

    54. Rietvlei Nature Reserve- This scenic nature reserve about 18kms from Pretoria is a picture-perfect location of 4000 hectares. An estimated 1600 animals of different species can be spotted here on 60 kilometres of road.

    55. Klapperkop Fort- Situated on the hill of the same name, this museum had a drawbridge and a moat which was never filled; it is a now a declared museum of military history.
  • 05Port Elizabeth

    Port Elizabeth
    Image Credit : expedia.com
    56. Kragga Kamma Game Park- Part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, this small nature reserve is renowned for game drives to spot white rhinos, cheetahs and many animals that roam freely here.

    57. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum- This museum has an enviously impressive collection of some of the best pieces of British, oriental, printmaking and Eastern Cape artworks, its entrance lying in the scenic St George’s Park.

    58. Donkin Reserve- Made by Rufane Donkin in memory of his wife, Elizabeth, after whom the city is named, this national monument features a famous lighthouse and pyramid. It houses Nelson Mandela Bay’s Tourism office.

    59. Splash Waterworld- A waterpark in the middle of a grassy meadow, it features a super tube, speed slide, lazy river slide and 3 slides for kids, alongside a kiosk for collecting souvenirs.

    60. Wells Estate Beach- It's a first black beach that earned the status of the blue flag during the Apartheid era. This beach is a great picnic spot for families with pools and waterslides made for kids.

    61. Addo Elephant National Park- It is already South Africa’s third largest park and is still expanding. Spread across 5 of the country’s 9 natural biomes, it also features a few islands with marine sections.

    62. The Boardwalk- Positioned along the famous beach road and looking over the beautiful scenes of the Indian Ocean is this beautiful and affluent boulevard of The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World.

    63. Cape Recife Nature Reserve- This nature reserve offers some of the best views in Port Elizabeth, including a beach where you can see the conservation efforts being put in for marine animals like penguins.

    64. Patido’s Pub and Grub- Located in New Brighton, this is considered as a good place to meet and chill by the locals and attracts many visitors with its delicious and innovative menu.

    65. South End Museum- It is a museum depicting the history of this multicultural country before and after the Apartheid relocations with a multimedia-based theme of interaction with the visitors.

    66. Hobie Beach- A hotspot for locals and tourists to enjoy swimming, sunbathing and surfing at, this beach sees many well-known festivals and water sports championships like the World Boardsailing Championship through the year.

    67. Beer Yard- Feel like unwinding after a long day over a beer? This place in Richmond Hill brings to you some of the best delicacies in snacks and dinner, alongside best craft beers.
  • 06Bloemfontein

    Bloemfontein
    Image Credit : wikimedia.org
    68. National Museum, Bloemfontein- Established as early as 1877, this museum has been in the field of collecting the rarities of the world. Its exhibits include fibreglass elephant, an early dinosaur skeleton etc.

    69. Oliewenhuis Art Museum- A former state residence for the Presidents, this mansion was released in 1985 by the then President to convert it into the art museum it is today after public requests.

    70. Free State National Botanical Garden- With over 400 species of plants native to the southern Africa region, 124 species of birds and 54 those of reptiles, this beautiful garden is spread in about 70 hectares.

    71. Gwenbali Waterworld- The only water-based theme park in the region, situated just 4 kilometres from the Bloemfontein road, this place is one of the best attractions that this place has on offer.

    72. KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden- One of the oldest gardens in the world, this place features trees from the region and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. This place opens every day of the year.

    73. Cheetah Experience- Take an elaborate 60 to 80-minute tour here and ‘see, sense and touch’ some great animals like the cheetah, lion, leopard, shavals, and wolves at a very reasonable fee.

    74. Bagamoya Wildlife Estate- Take up this unique experience of meeting and interacting with the large cats like tigers, lions and many other animals. Here you can even get a chance to feed a lion.

    75. Naval Hill and the Franklin Nature Reserve- Naval hill is an intriguing place as here the wildlife exists in the middle of an urban development. The Franklin Nature Reserve is a 250-hectare park that contains extensive wildlife.

    76. Anglo Boer War Museum- This museum is dedicated to the most significant event in South African history, Anglo Boer war. The museum exhibits war relics and information as to why the war took place.

    77. Fourth Raadsaal- Claimed to be one of the city’s most beautiful structure, this red brick building is where the last parliament of the Boer republic was held before the British Invasion in 1900.

    78. Seven on Kellner- This classy restaurant set in a Victorian style building with modern interior décor serves some of the most delicious recipes in the region with all its class and elegance.

    79. National Women’s Memorial- A memorial monument dedicated to the 27,000 Boer women and children who were killed in British concentration camps at the time of the second Boer War.
  • 07KwaZulu-Natal

    KwaZulu-Natal
    Image Credit : wikimedia.org
    80. Sodwana Bay National Park- A stretch of sand covered with forest on one side and sea on the other, it is famous amongst people who live to drive. You can also dive and snorkel on its endless shoreline.

    81. Oribi Gorge- Actually two canyons, these are 30km long and 5km wide at the widest point, they were made by the waters of river Mzimkulwana and are home to various wildlife elements.

    82. The Drakensberg- Meaning “Mountains of Dragons”, these hills are what separates KwaZulu-Natal from the country of Lesotho. This place is affluent when it comes to nature’s bounty.

    83. Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park- Spread in 960 km2, it is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in entire Africa. It is the only place in KwaZulu-Natal where you can see the Big Five wild animals.

    84. iSimangaliso Wetland Park- This beautiful area at the eastern edge of KwaZulu-Natal is full of beaches, coral reefs, woodlands, lakes, swamps, wetlands, coastal forests and grasslands. It is South Africa’s first UNESCO heritage site.

    85. Sani Pass- At the height of almost 3000 meters, this winding path is a well-known and dangerous road that connects KwaZulu-Natal with Lesotho, famous for the stunning and scenic beauty.

    86. The KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields Route- The area in KwaZulu-Natal is embellished with some of the most beautiful landscapes and is famous for hosting a war that changed the course of South African and British histories.

    87. KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden- One of the oldest gardens in the world, this place features trees from the region and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. This place opens every day of the year.
  • 08Other Famous Places in South Africa

    Other Famous Places in South Africa
    Image Credit : smugmug.com
    88. Cango Caves- In the base of the Swartberg hills, this series of limestone caves attracts visitors from around the world. It is a must in places to visit in South Africa.

    89. Sunlands Baobab Bar, Limpopo- The largest Baobab tree in the world also has an amazing bar in its trunk, where 15 people can grab a drink in a 6000-year-old tree.

    90. Otter Trail, Garden Route- One of the most stunning and spectacular treks in South Africa, it follows the Garden Route coastline of Storms River Mouth to Nature's Valley in the Tsitsikamma National Park.

    91. Bloukrans Bridge Bungy- World’s highest bridge bungee at the height of 216m, it is situated on the Garden Route. This place is considered heaven for adventure and thrill seekers.

    92. Orange River- It is the longest river in South Africa which passes through only one major city. It emerges at the Drakensberg, flowing westward for about 2200kms before merging in the Atlantic Ocean.

    93. Blyde River Canyon- One of the largest canyons of the world and the largest green canyon, this 25-kilometre long gorge has an average height of about 750m and is covered in scenic subtropical vegetation.

    94. St Lucia Wetland Park- South Africa’s first UNESCO world heritage site since 1999 and third largest protected area of the country, this area is a wildlife enthusiast’s heaven; covering an area of 332000 hectares.

    95. Clifton Beaches- Located in one of the most affluent areas of Cape Town are the Clifton beaches. These 4 beaches are a delight for everyone for offering pleasant conditions throughout the year.

    96. Augrabies Falls- Based on the Orange River are the falls known as ‘place of great noise’, or Augrabies. These fall through a height of 183ft, making for a great photo opportunity.

    97. Knysna Heads- On one of the most beautiful roads of South Africa, the Garden Route, you will find these rocks jutting out of the water with currents flowing between them.

    98. Howick Falls- Its name in the local language means ‘Place of the Tall One’, these falls are of a height just shy of 100m; this place is also connected with local superstitions.

    99. The Big Hole, Kimberley- The largest fully man-made excavation site in the world, it is famous for being a hill turned into a hole of 1.7km in the perimeter and is now a tourist attraction.

    100. Hole in the Wall- This out of the ordinary natural archway in walls of a tidal island is made by erosion of the sandstone walls over thousands of years by the Mpako river.

    101. Sedgefield- It is a town on the coast and falls on the Garden Route of South Africa. This beautiful village is known for its great surroundings and paragliding events.

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